UA Little Rock Announces Two New Health Education and Promotion Degree Programs

Amar Kanekar

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock has announced two new degree programs in Health Education and Promotion.

The UA Little Rock School of Counseling, Human Performance, and Rehabilitation has created an accelerated 4+1 program for Health Education and Promotion as well as a new fully online degree for the Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion.

Beginning this year, undergraduate students who are accepted for the accelerated program will begin working toward their master’s degree while completing their bachelor’s degree. This will allow students to complete their graduate degree one year early. Additionally, UA Little Rock has announced an online graduate degree program in health education and promotion that begins in the spring 2022 semester.

“Health education is a growing field within the public health domain,” said Dr. Amar Kanekar, graduate coordinator of health education and promotion. “U.S. Department of Labor statistics show almost 60,000 health education specialists working in the United States in 2019 and a projected industry growth rate of 11 percent between 2018 and 2028. It’s an exciting opportunity for students who are interested in pursuing work in health education and promotion.”

The average mean wage for health education specialists is approximately $62,000 per year. Growth is being driven by efforts to improve health outcomes and to reduce healthcare costs through teaching people healthy behaviors and explaining how to better use available healthcare services.

UA Little Rock’s Master of Science in Health Education and Promotion degree is designed to provide professional educational opportunities and prepare students for careers as wellness directors and health education practitioners including certified health education specialists, researchers, health department personnel, worksite health promotion, and more. The online degree will make the program more accessible for students in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, where many students are pursuing virtual learning.

“This fully online master’s degree makes a college education more accessible for international students and domestic students who prefer to study online,” Kanekar said. “The courses are designed to align its objectives with the areas of responsibilities and competencies set forth by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing to enable students to take CHES and MCHES examinations.”

Certified health education specialists can work in a variety of fields related to program coordination and management, health education, community health services, advocacy, curriculum building, etc.

Students have the opportunity to improve their intellectual and professional skills through advanced classroom instruction, participation in behavioral research, and an opportunity to engage in community service and learning activities. Additionally, this program has a strong research focus as a requirement via a thesis or a project that hones student research skills and prepares them for pursuing doctoral-level education.

Both degrees have been approved by the Arkansas Division of Higher Education and the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas System.

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